When Scotsman Archibald Leslie settled in Holly Springs, North Carolina, in the early 19th century, he built a 180-acre estate right by the town’s freshwater springs. These days, only the estate’s springs and main house—a nationally registered historic site known as the Leslie-Alford-Mims House—remain. But with their pub, the proprietor’s of Archibald’s Tavern make sure the settler’s name lives on as well.
The tavern’s cooks specialize in staples of American bar food, such as hot wings, wraps filled with philly cheesesteak fixings, and burgers crowned with pepper jack cheese and jalapeños. Selections from an ever-expanding beer list pair perfectly with feasts, which patrons can complement by taking in that day’s game on flat-screen TVs mounted around the bar.
Strafe Gaming Lounge pairs the excitement of an arcade with the laid-back social characteristics of a lounge. Game gourmands choose from hundreds of titles for Wii, Xbox, and PS3, setting up camp in semiprivate gaming rooms with rocking chairs, couches, and 42" high-definition TVs. A family-friendly environment, Strafe Gaming Lounge holds special hours for preschool gamers, while of-age console commandos can imbibe responsibly by BYOBing after 8 p.m. A high-def 100" projector is also available for stadium-sized gaming, such as Rock Band 2, or Blu-ray movie viewing. Choose unlimited gaming for a day or month, or take over the entire lounge for a three-hour birthday party, bringing cake and gaming together more effectively than your failed Atari title Baker Time.
Located a stone’s throw from Symphony Lake, Koka Booth Amphitheatre emerges out of 14 acres of hardwoods and pines to offer up its stage to traveling national acts, theatrical productions, and movie screenings. Although its wood and earth-toned beams camouflage the venue within its natural surroundings, passersby can notice its sleek exterior glistening in the moonlight during nighttime performances. The outdoor amphitheater––designed by William Rawn Associates of Boston, which also constructed the Cambridge Public Library––seats up to 7,000 people on its spacious lawn, crescent deck, or loft bird nests.
An Aveda concept salon with a retro edge, The Hair and Face Lounge sets itself apart with complimentary beverages, vintage posters of Hollywood starlets, and yellow leather couches that look as if they were time-warped from the 1960s. Even when faced with such eye-popping décor, it doesn’t take clients long to hone in on what matters: a team of licensed stylists who craft flattering looks with haircuts and coloring treatments. Professional Aveda products feature prominently on the menu, popping up in everything from exfoliating facials to smoothing hair treatments.
With a wide variety of beers on tap, 14 TVs, and a huge menu, The Train Station (formerly Harrison's Bar & Grill) is a great place to kick back and watch the game or UFC fight. It's also a great place to play a game—the bar has free darts as well as free pool, making the days of saving your spot on the pool table with a gold dubloon obsolete. Nearly every night of the week, events keep visitors further entertained, whether it's with free beer pong on Thursday, karaoke on Sunday, or DJs on Friday and Tuesday.
Backyard Bistro’s menu is rich in barbecue traditions that are upheld by the resident pit master. A level-seven sage of the barbecue pit, this wise individual slow-cooks pork in handcrafted cast-iron pit smokers for a potent punch to the tastebuds. Barbecue items such as the beef brisket ($13.50) and the ½ lb. slow-roasted pork barbecue ($9.95) are roasted overnight to bring ultimate moisture and smoky flavors to each bite (both items include choice of two sides). Also served with two sides, the ribs are rubbed down with Backyard’s signature rub and slow roasted until the tender meat slides down the bone easier than pigs down backyard Slip ‘n Slides ($18.95 full rack/$13.95 half rack). In addition to the tender, smoky barbecue options, diners can also tuck into the steak ($21–$23), fish ($12.95–$16.95), burgers ($8.50–$12.50), and sandwiches ($7.50–$12.95). Backyard Bistro serves food until midnight every night of the week.